Saturday, April 18, 2015

Seven Years On: Why The Palin Birth Hoax Story Still Shouldn't Go Away

Rumors, innuendo and inconclusive photographs do not a true story make, but the fact of the matter is that seven years after the birth of Trig Paxson Van Palin, there is no proof that right-wing sweetheart Sarah Palin is his biological mother and evidence he may be her grandson.
If you believe that I -- or anyone else -- has no business pursuing the question of whether John McCain's 2008 running mate put over an enormous hoax on the American public because the whole idea is so . . . well, yucky, then you need read no further. Besides which, a kid with disabilities having a home with a family that has plenty of dough is enough for many people who are averse to questioning Palin's serial evasions.
But if you, like me, remain curious about the evasions concerning her alleged pregnancy and Trig's birth, as well as her unwillingness to provide any proof to tamp down rumors that she faked the birth of the Down syndrome child, then stick around.  Palin still will not even release a copy of Trig's birth certificate although she hectored Barack Obama to release his.
This story deserves to have legs because the former half-term Alaska governor turned author and reality show princess and most recently Tea Party carnival sideshow freak not only has not gone away.
She continues to inject herself into national politics, having campaigned early on for the 2012 Republican president nomination until even she realized that her brand was tarnished despite a small but hard-core conservative constituency that continues to cling to her every statement as if they were Biblical missives, while she has stumped for Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign. 
These statements have included appallingly outrageous and tone deaf comments in the wake of the 2011 assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and attacks on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, whom she infers is brain damaged and should release her medical records.  And come to think of it, what has Palin accomplished over the last decade beyond running her mouth?
The events leading up to and after Trig's alleged birth -- and, yes, it is alleged -- seven years ago today on April 18, 2008 are copiously documented in an academic paper and lengthy commentary by Bradford W. Scharlott, a former reporter and professor at Northern Kentucky University who believes there may have been a conspiracy hoax and like me is deeply disturbed about the disinterest of a mainstream media that at the same time has been unable leave alone far-fetched Obama birther conspiracy theories for years. 
"There was insufficient evidence for the press to conclude that Palin was telling the truth about Trig," Scharlott concludes in something of an understatement in the academic paper.  "If journalists had serious questions about whether the fake birth rumor might be true – and they should have – then the press was under no obligation to accept unproven claims as established fact.  But that is exactly what happened."
* * * * *
In late February 2008, Palin's bodyguard, Alaska State Trooper Gary Wheeler, had accompanied her to Washington, D.C. for a Republican Governors Association conference where she met McCain and his campaign manager Rick Davis, who was to be in charge of the selection process for the vice-presidential nominee. Palin had been mentioned as a potential nominee, albeit a long-shot, for several months in conservative publications.
Wheeler recalls that when Palin changed into jeans upon her arrival in the capital, there was no apparent sign that she was pregnant.
On March 5, 2008, McCain all but clinched the Republican nomination.
On March 6, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Palin had announced she was expecting her fifth child and already was seven months along. "That the pregnancy is so advanced astonished all who heard the news," wrote reporter Wesley Loy. "The governor . . . simply does not look pregnant. Even close members of her staff said they only learned this week their boss was expecting."
On April 15, Palin and her husband Todd flew to Dallas where she was to give the keynote speech at a Republican governor's conference on energy issues.  Trooper Wheeler, a 26-year veteran who had provided security for several other Alaska governors, was told at the last minute that he was not needed. He says that no explanation was given, and the Palins rejected his offer to arrange for a security detail to meet them in Texas.
On April 17, the Palins cut out early from the governor's conference after Palin gave the keynote speech. Shortly after the speech, Todd Palin emailed friends, writing that her speech "kicked ass," but said nothing about the status of her pregnancy or hurriedly arranged return trip. Meanwhile, Palin herself also did not allude to being in labor in a flurry of emails, although she later stated publicly that she was "overwhelmed [with] desperation" about her condition. 
In Going Rogue, a 2009 bestselling autobiography chockablock with lies and fabrications, Palin claimed she had been awakened shortly before 4 a.m. on the morning of the speech by a strange sensation in her lower belly.  She wrote that she was leaking amniotic fluid and claimed she called her personal physician, Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who apparently did not insist that she seek immediate medical intention.
After laying over in Seattle, the Palins landed in Anchorage about 10:30 p.m. local time and drove to the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer, which is close to the Palin's home in Wasilla. The trip took a total of 10 hours. Airline personnel on the return flight said they did not notice that Palin was pregnant, let alone was showing signs that she might be about to give birth.
Meanwhile, investigative author Geoffrey Dunn writes in The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power, that a woman said to be a close friend of the then-governor also expressed skepticism.
He writes that the friend told him that "Palin did not look like she was pregnant. Ever. Even when she had the bulging belly, I never felt that the rest of her body, her face especially, looked like she was pregnant." When the woman asked Palin point-blank if she was certain the baby was hers, she says that Palin said, "No. I don't know what to believe."
According to a later story in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin gave birth at 6:30 a.m. on April 18 after Cathy Baldwin-Johnson induced labor. 
This means that if Palin's water had broken prior to her giving the keynote speech, she chose to not check herself into any of the five world-class Dallas hospitals with neo-natal intensive-care units or similarly equipped Seattle hospitals, and waited some 20 hours before going to a hospital that did not have a neo-natal ICU after having passed several large Alaska hospitals with such units despite her history of miscarriages (two), to give birth to a one-month premature baby with Down syndrome and, as it later turned out, a heart condition.
Later that morning, a crew from KTUU-TV in Anchorage showed up at Mat-Su in pursuit of a tip that Palin had given birth. The crew taped Chuck and Sallie Heath, Palin's parents, in a hallway holding an infant that Chuck Heath said was their new grandchild, Trig. Sarah Palin did not appear. The source of the tip is believed to be KTUU reporter Bill McAllister, who became Palin's director of communications three months later.
It was obvious to a number of people who saw the baby that day that it was not a newborn preemie. Some of them wrote that at the Anchorage Daily News web site. The comments were quickly taken down, but the Palins realized that for the next month or two, they needed a younger stand-in for Trig for photo ops they would orchestrate.
Scharlott has done a detailed analysis of screenshots of the baby showed off at Mat-Su and the baby that Palin and her husband later appeared with at the Republican National Convention.  He concludes that they are the same child.  He further notes that the baby in the hospital lacked common characteristics of a newborn preemie such as a plethoric (red-faced) complexion.
Some people who are convinced there is indeed a birth hoax conspiracy believe that there are two Trigs -- the infant shown off in the hospital hallway and the "real" Trig, the baby shown in the photograph atop this post being shown off at the convention.

"I personally am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that only one baby has been shown as Trig," Sharlott has written.  "Even if you don't agree that graphics [of seeming differences in the ears of the Mat-Su infant and convention infant] overcome reasonable doubt, surely you must agree that it's now impossible to seriously maintain the opposite: That it is beyond a reasonable doubt that more than one baby has been displayed."
How does Sarah Palin view the Two Trigs Theory? 
"I imagine she thinks it's a great boon for her and hopes it will continue to be embraced by many in the Trig Truther community," Sharlott adds.  "One reason for this is that she can easily prove that the theory is false whenever she likes. She surely has plenty of pictures showing the development of the ears over time, and if a medical procedure was done, she could produce records for it. "
Meanwhile, a press release issued by the governor's office announced the birth of the Palins' "fifth child this morning. The Palins were thankful that the Governor's labor began yesterday while she was in Texas . . . but let up enough for her to travel on Alaska Airlines in time to deliver her second son . . . "  The press release did not say where the birth took place, Mat-Su did not list Trig among the babies born there that day, nor has any hospital official ever confirmed that Trig was born there, let alone when, or said anything publicly about the birth.
(A writer for Slate magazine reported in April 2011 that a clerk in Mat-Su's family birthing center told him that Trig was born there, but provided no documentation to support that claim.  That same month, Salon magazine reported that after an "exhaustive review of available evidence," it concluded that Palin did give birth to Trig and did so at Mat-Su.)
Baldwin-Johnson has never publicly said a word about the birth, while birth certificates are not public records in Alaska.
Later that day, KTUU newscaster Lori Tipton reported that "An unnamed source that is close to the family said that early testing revealed Trig Palin has Down syndrome." The source is again believed to be McAllister.
Although preemies typically need to stay in neo-natal ICUs for days or weeks, on April 21, Palin returned to work and held a press conference with "Trig" at hand. When a reporter asked if her water had broken in Texas, she balked at the question but later indicated that it had. 
In a surprise announcement on August 28, McCain announced that he had selected Palin as his running mate. 
Considering that Palin would be a heartbeat away from the presidency if McCain defeated Obama, the decision to choose a virtual unknown whose popularity already had tanked in Alaska because of a reputation for being a power abusing kook and liar has to rank as perhaps the most irresponsible in the modern history of presidential campaigns.  As it turned out, McCain's man in charge of vetting potential running mates never met Palin face to face, while the campaign had contacted only one person in Alaska -- her personal attorney -- in vetting her.  McCain himself spent less than two hours with Palin before inviting her to join the ticket.  
Bloggers at Daily Kos and several other blogs quickly published posts claiming that Bristol Palin, the Palins' 17-year-old daughter, was Trig's mother, which would make Trig Palin's grandson.  None of the posts had attribution, and several large blogs, including the Huffington Post, responded by writing that the Democrats would hurt themselves by pursuing birth conspiracy hoax rumors.
In a pattern of accepting unproven claims by Palin as established fact that was to become so familiar, the mainstream media showed no interest in the rumors, although the Anchorage Daily News reported on the Daily Kos post, saying it was "a version of a rumor -- long simmering in Alaska -- that Palin's unwed daughter Bristol was pregnant and the governor somehow covered it up by pretending to have the baby (Trig) herself."
On September 1, the McCain campaign announced -- at Sarah Palin's behest, it said -- that Bristol Palin was in her fifth month of pregnancy, the implication being that she therefore could not be Trig's mother and the birth hoax rumors were unfounded.
The announcement was curious insofar that if accurate the pregnancy had been a private matter for months and Bristol, who had dropped out of school and been out of the public eye, was being subjected to having it revealed to the national media at the Republican convention.  More curious still, Palin's release of a birth certificate showing that Palin had given birth to Trig on April 18 would have settled the matter once and for all, but she still refused to do so.
Stories portraying Palin as a courageous woman for running for vice president despite Trig's disabilities appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and other leading newspapers, further enhancing her credibility among Republican right-to-lifers. Only the Philadelphia Inquirer went off key in writing that "Palin's decision to chase the vice presidency even as she gave birth to a son with Down syndrome seems naive."
When media critic Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post was preparing a column on the birth hoax rumor, the only instance in which a major newspaper addressed it head on, the McCain campaign gleefully forwarded emails that Andrew Sullivan, then blogging for The Atlantic, had sent it in his pursuit of the rumor, telling Kurtz that the emails showed "the insanity that this campaign has had to put up with."  Meanwhile, the Weekly Standard, edited by a sycophantic Palin supporter, called Sullivan's pursuit of the truth "a disgrace for [his] magazine and everyone associated with it."
Although the McCain campaign never allowed Palin to appear at a press conference where she might be asked about Trig, she repeatedly promised that she would release her medical records as had Obama and Joe Biden. When McCain finally did so on November 3, the day before Election Day, there was a page-and-a-half long letter annexed to the records signed by Dr. Baldwin-Johnson stating that Palin followed proper pre-natal procedures and follow-up evaluations and nothing had precluded delivery of Trig "at her home community hospital."
The wording of the letter is awkward in the extreme, and it raises many questions while answering none in a textbook example of being intentionally misleading while ostensibly clarifying.
Baldwin-Johnson avoids mentioning the hospital by name or even that she was the delivering physician, let alone present for the delivery.  A nurse who contacted me after an earlier version of this story appeared said she was attending a birth with with Baldwin-Johnson at the time at another hospital miles away, but would not provide details or give her name because she feared being retaliated against.  (The Palins, quick to anger, have done just that in numerous documented instances in which they believed that neighbors, one-time friends or others had crossed them.)  
In any event, the timing of the letter insured that the news media would have no opportunity before America voted to ask follow-up questions, and Palin and Baldwin-Johnson later declined to answer questions because Palin was no longer a candidate, let alone vice president-elect and soon to be a proverbial "heartbeat away from the presidency."
The September 1 McCain campaign press release regarding Bristol's pregnancy becomes even more problematic given the circumstances surrounding the birth of baby Tripp to Bristol Palin.
People magazine quoted a great-aunt in Seattle as saying she got an email from Chuck Heath, Sarah Palin's father, saying that Tripp was born on December 28, which would put the date of conception at late March 2008 or thereabouts. Palmer, Alaska, was mentioned as the place of birth, but again no hospital was named and again Mat-Su Regional Medical Center had no comment.  That quote from a great-aunt living hundreds of miles away is the only contemporaneous account of the birth of the child, which is strange because of Palin's well-known compulsion to stage manage all publicity involving her family, including coverage in celebrity-oriented magazines.
Palin's office initially declined to comment on the birth, explaining that it wanted the event to remain as private as possible although Palin and the McCain campaign had made a big deal of Bristol's pregnancy four months earlier. No photographs of baby Tripp were published, and no one outside the immediate family saw him until seven weeks after the birth.
When Bill McAllister, who had become Palin's director of communications, did issue a press release, he said that it was to correct erroneous information. The press release did not mention the hospital or place of birth.
Following the election, the Anchorage Daily News assigned reporter Lisa Demer to try to get to the bottom of the conspiracy hoax rumors, which had not gone away and continued to be pursued by a few journalists, notably blogger Andrew Sullivan, who as late as 2014 again weighed in on the possibility of a hoax after Palin's barbs about Hillary Clinton's health
Demer too was unable to obtain proof that Sarah Palin was Trig's mother, although she did get an angry response from Palin after Demer's editor published an account of her efforts on his blog on January 12, 2009.
* * * * *
I will preface my own take on this long-running story by noting that I was an investigative editor and reporter for many years. Series and stories that I supervised were nominated for four Pulitzer Prizes.
While that background does not make me omnipotent, I trust my instincts when wading through and weighing facts -- or in this case the absence of them -- which has taken me on a journey from being highly skeptical of there being a birth conspiracy hoax to the conclusion that there almost certainly was.
Weighing against the hoax is that large-scale conspiracies are virtually impossible to keep quiet, something noted by Palin hoax skeptics. This is why 9/11 terror attack conspiracy theorists will be treading water forever.
But this is not a large-scale conspiracy because beyond Palin's immediate family only the officials of a hospital, on whose board Palin served, and Baldwin-Johnson would have to remain silent, something made easier by the possibility that Trig was not born at Mat-Su, but had been born earlier, smuggled in by a family member, and the hospital was not directly involved and Baldwin-Johnson was not present.  Note further that Palin's four previous successful pregnancies had gone to full term, and that Palin herself has changed and embellished on key elements of her original birth story in the years since, including once claiming that she delivered Trig in an Anchorage hospital.
Weighing for the hoax is an Alaska-sized array of circumstantial evidence: That attendants on the April 17 flight from Texas to Anchorage, along with Palin's own staff, Trooper Wheeler and almost everyone else with whom she came in contact in the weeks and days before the alleged birth, did not believe that she was pregnant.  This perhaps not coincidentally was a period during which no one can account for daughter Bristol's whereabouts for reasons the typically publicity hungry Palins have chosen not to share.  And Palin has refused to produce a copy of the document certifying Trig's birth to her because it does not exist.
The hoax may not be merely a conspiracy, but also the product of a dysfunctional family, something that the Palins sadly are.
Bristol was sent to live with an aunt in late 2007, halfway through her junior year, ostensibly to be home schooled, according to some reports.  She may have had Trig under the care of Baldwin-Johnson, who is the founder of The Children's Place, which specializes in helping teenagers in trouble, but was unable to place Trig for adoption because he was a Down baby. (Bristol claimed in Not Afraid of Life, a memoir published in June 2011, that she was impregnated by Levi Johnston while drunk on wine coolers on a camping trip.)

Evidence based on photographs of Palin in the weeks and days before the alleged birth is not only inconclusive, it is contradictory because a seven-month pregnant woman simply cannot hide a fetus.
Yet Palin looks flat tummied in some of the photos such as the ones above taken on February 13 -- some eight weeks before Trig's alleged birth -- and pregnant although not pregnant in the right way in others. This leads Scharlott to suggest that Palin might have been wearing padding on some occasions, something that doesn't seem far-fetched.  Indeed, Palin appears to be wearing a pad strapped around her midsection.  Her lower belly, where a fetus would normally be, seems flat in a photograph taken at a photo op three weeks before Trig's alleged birth.  (The image below has been Photoshopped so that the pad is clearly visible.)
Had Palin, who is an extremely proud woman, been in the latter stages of a pregnancy, she presumably would have worn clothing that would not try to hide that. Instead, she took to wearing long scarves that covered her belly.  The New York Times, in a chirpy, skepticism-free article, said that Palin played "an elaborate game of fashion-assisted camouflage" using scarves to hide her pregnancy although the scarves just as easily could have been used to disguise a lack of pregnancy.
Furthermore, a late February interview with Palin by a reporter with a film crew from an Alaska broadcast outlet shows a woman who does not appear to be pregnant who is walking on snow in high heels while holding a cup of coffee in one hand.  And although the ankles of pregnant women typically swell in the last trimester, Palin's ankles did not.
Then there is the screen shot below which purports to show Trig, who is being held by Palin's mother-in-law, less than 24 hours after his birth. Does he look like a one-month premature baby? Of course he doesn't, which is the view of a neonatologist.

One question remains: If there was a hoax, why did Sarah Palin perpetrate it?

Dr. Jeffrey Parks, a Cleveland surgeon, later wrote of the journey that Palin took after she says her water broke:
"Digest that for just a second.  A 43 year old woman carrying a child with known Down's Syndrome, in her eighth month of pregnancy voluntarily embarked upon a transcontinental adventure to give a speech.  Then after noticing some cramps and the passage of amniotic fluid, she went ahead with her speech and, instead of proceeding directly to the nearest Dallas high risk pregnancy center, boarded a four hour flight to Seattle.  Then she hung out in the Seattle airport lounge for a while and took a connecting flight to Alaska.  Then she drives to Wasilla.  Finally she decided to seek medical attention at a local Wasilla hospital, a facility lacking an NICU and other high risk specialists.  That's her story . . . Palin willfully and wantonly placed herself and her unborn child in tremendous danger by flying cross country with amniotic fluid running down her legs . . . What kind of mother would take a risk like that with her child, let alone a high risk, premature one?"
While Palin used Trig as a stage prop during her vice presidential run and has used him similarly since then, she also has been fiercely protective of he and her family.  Palin's post-vice presidential nomination popularity went through the roof in part because of the omnipresent Trig, and claiming that she was the mother of Bristol's baby may have been less an act of political opportunism than reckless personal expediency.
* * * * *
Seven years on, birth hoax investigator Brad Scharlott believes the hoax has held because powerful interests "were able to turn any mention of it into kryptonite" when it was first getting some attention in the national media and among bloggers.
"In 2008, if you brought up the possibility of a birth hoax, the conservative attack machine would go into overdrive and portray you as a nutcase," Scharlott told me in a recent conversation. "Even the most courageous of nationally prominent bloggers and journalists, such as Andrew Sullivan and Joe McGinniss, never actually came right out and said there had been a hoax.  A 'spiral of silence' took hold -- meaning people who knew or suspected the truth stayed silent for fear of being treated like lunatics.  The spiral of silence theory originally arose to help explain why so many Germans who considered the Nazis evil stayed silent as they took over the country: voices of reason became marginalized and were given good reason to fear speaking out."
To use late journalist McGinniss's term, I suppose I am "trignostic," meaning that I am skeptical about Palin's story.  But I am not absolutely certain that it is not true in the absence of a proverbial "smoking gun," although an observation shared by many people who have known Palin since high school -- and know that she is a pathological liar of stunning dimensions -- weighs heavily in favor of a hoax: Even if Palin had not faked the story, she was more than capable of doing so.

So I do lean very strongly toward there having been a hoax. 
In the end, it comes down to this for me: Sarah Palin is so narcissistic she believes that if something comes out of her mouth, it must be true.  But if she was the mother of Trig, she would not have acted imprudently by bypassing hospitals in Texas, Seattle and Anchorage with neo-natal units capable of delivering premature babies. She simply would not have endangered Trig's life.


Shaun Mullen said...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Previous comments from earlier versions of this story are published in the post below. Please leave new comments here.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole thing is a hoax, too. I would like to see her exposed for what she has done, along with Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace who were complicit in perpetuating this hoax and the lapdog media who refused to pursue the story. It is the responsibility of the media to bring truth to light. Then again, I guess once you have helped deceive your country into invading another country and killing hundreds of thousands of people, dismissing a pregnancy hoax is small potatoes

Nameless Cynic said...

Ms Palin is a college-educated woman. (OK, yes, she's also a beauty-queen runner-up, but she went to college. That has to count for something.) She's had four children before this. So let's assume that she knew something about pregnancy. Like when the amniotic fluid is leaking, that's important. Like when an airplane goes up thousands of feet, the pressure changes can affect the pregnancy. Like time is important in situations like this. And, incidentally, that a larger hospital (like, say, in Texas) might have more equipment to ensure that the baby survives childbirth.

Now, further than that, she says that she knew that the child had Downs Syndrome, and raising a Downs child is a challenge. And she'd just been elected the youngest governor (and the first woman governor) in Alaska's history. What is an up and coming, dedicated pro-life politician to do?

Giving birth at her age, she had to know, from the battery of tests they require, that the baby had Downs. Which wouldn't be convenient for an up-and-coming politician.

Wouldn't a miscarriage have been convenient?

This might be a question that somebody should consider.

Rig said...

I'd love this story to be true if for no other reason than to shut this woman up, but a lack of evidence is not evidence. This is all innuendo and conjecture...where are the facts..???

Where did this baby come from if it is not Sarah's...?? Bristol had a child 12/28 of the same year making it virtually impossible she could be the mother. That leaves us with a missing, bought, or kidnapped child...Not buying it about some real proof before we start doing the samr thing to Palin that the right did to Obama.

Phrenzi said...

Sarah Palin is a liar, a media whore and a Kotch sucker....plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

A pleasure to make your acquaintance so to speak.

I thought that this whole Trig/Tripp topic was batsh*t crazyness when it first reared into the media airspace of election 2008.

I wrote the "wild ride"
off as a combination of embellishment an/or a possible "accidental" attempt at a "natural" late term fundie abortion.

It wasn't until months later that I slowly realized that there was no there there when it came to the claims that Sarah Palin was 1. pregnant while Governor, and 2. that Sarah birthed Trig (or any child in 2008).

If there was a hoax, why was there a hoax, and why wouldn't it be exposed? That is what might be gotten to at the bottom of this.

I my mind I am certain that:

1. Sarah didn't birth a child as Governor of Alaska.

2. There are other willing and knowing participants in this lie and coverup.

3. The vast majority of naysayers are either incurious or unwitting dupes of the scheme.

Every time I see Sarah and Trig mentioned I flash back to her fellow quitter RMN declaring "I am not a crook".

Shaun Mullen said...


The "facts", such as they are, pointing to a hoax conspiracy are based pretty much entirely on circumstantial evidence, hearsay and the unwillingness of Ms. Palin to silence her critics with release of the birth certificate. As smoking guns go, a birth certificate would be a howitzer.

Your comparison of what the right-wing attack machine has done to Obama in the face of an utter lack of evidence and what Brad Scharlott, Andrew Sullivan, I and a few others have written is inapt.

Anonymous said...

Nameless Cynic,

Palin never graduated from college.

comeonpeople said...

This is great - thanks for revisiting. I know Palin did not birth TriG on 418/08 at MatSu. She went from flat bellied to huge in the photo Andrea Gusty. That is physiologically impossible. Cathy Baldwin Johnson is family practice physician who specializes in sexually abused kids - not a high risk obstetrician. No ay no how she induced a high risk pregnancy as Palin states, in a local hospital that does not birth high risk babies.
Palin is so delusional that she actually said in the Elan Frank video that she did not show becausee her "abs were tight and I could hide it".
OKAY - that's cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
Palin has made millions off this ruse.She needs to be outed for the nut she is and gotten permanently off the political stages. It is waaaay past time.

Anonymous said...

Sarah is not a college graduate, she is a compulsive liar. as mayor, she was called out by the frontierman, local valley newspaper, for lying when there was no need or purpose to the lies.
If you check with Gryphen on Immoral minority, he was able to get the doctor's schedules and cathy baldwin johnson who sarah said delivered trig, was working in a hospital in Anchorage. Sarah cannot tell the truth period. She has some mental problems....which is why she couldn't recall paul revere's ride seconds after leaving the museum. Sarah was not a good student, worked hard for the grades she did get. She was not a good athlete...she was not the pg for her varsity team ....she was only moved up from jr. varsity for this tourney because she was a senior...she always played jr varsity because no one was ever cut from teams at wasilla team. lol Sarah has created a myth of who she was.....and she was not a good contestant in wasilla high, can't really play the flute and as no sense of rhythm....she knows it and the piano player played to her off beat "song".
Sarah has relied on her looks since senior high and was very much a mean girl, whispering in her small clique of church friends about girls she was jealous of, being a slut. Sarah was pretty and she was good at using people and trying to get them on her side against her 'enemy". I have degrees in behavior and maladjustment. I am also from Wasilla, sarah is a psychopath. She has no empathy, she is a compulsive liar, has no remorse, and is and will do anything that advances her into the spotlight. She is vindictive and untrustworthy. She always wanted to be rich and a celebrity. You think her shape changed on and off again during her pregnancy lies.....look at her bust....she wears it for men and she uses sexuality to get what she wants, but she is inconsistent with her bustlines. It is funny.

Anonymous said...

I believe Bristol gave birth to TRIPP on 4/18/08. His delivery was a surprise. Hence the fast tracks Sarah and Todd made back to Alaska. The big baby Sally and Chuck held at Matsu hospital was TRIPP. All throughout the election, Bristol looked like a nursing mother, not a pregnant teen. And he was brought along on the election trail when Bristol was there. That's why the baby held by Sally and Chuck and a baby shown off on the election trail looked alike.

The 12/28/08 birth of TRIPP was staged. That's why there were no pictures, no fanfare, a long delay in presenting him and why TRIPP to this day looks months older than his alleged birth day.

I don't know who TRIG's birth mother is. She may be related to the Palins. My belief is that his mother could not keep him and opportunistic Sarah saw a way to bolster her pro-life cred. So the plan was hatched. Sarah took to wearing scarves to hide a flat belly (ask yourselves why a proud conservative maverick mama would conceal a pregnancy---it must have been a non-pregnancy!) and wearing a fake pregnancy belly on occasion (the Andrea Gusty interview and the 4/17/08 Dallas event pics). The birth of TRIPP was usurped as the "birth" of TRIG. Thanks to HIPAA, they could control information about the birth.

TRPP was presented on that April day by Sally and Chuck because that was his actual birth day. However, it was TRIG who Sarah presented at her office three days after the "birth."

I don't know when TRIG was born, but I doubt it was 4/18/08.

There were rumors at the end of 2007 that Bristol was pregnant. And a family portrait revealing her rounded belly. Plus, she ducked out of sight with her aunt. Bristol and her pregnancy remained a secret until it could be used as an alibi for Sarah, if you will. Because it was likely that people would suspect TRIG was Bristol's baby (which is exactly what happened), what better way to dispel any rumors than to announce that Bristol was pregnant?

By the time the election was over and the attention waned, Bristol was safe to "deliver" TRIPP. Considering how both Sarah and Bristol have had People magazine on speed dial since, it is very inconsistent that the birth wasn't turned into a media event. That's because they didn't want any attention on it.

A brilliant plan. But then, Sarah is very cunning when it comes to conning.

martha again said...

Sarah also wrote in "Going Rogue" that she had contractions while she was giving her talk in Texas.

Nothing about this story rings true.

Ginger said...

In your post, you say..."Dr. Catherine Baldwin-Johnson did not admit to delivering Trig."

As I recall, at the end of April, 2008, Dr. CBJ went to the Anchorage Daily News with her attorney for an interview. I remember a picture of her and her attorney sitting at a table being interviewed in the paper.

Dr. CBJ answered two questions and then got up and walked out:

1) Yes, I delivered Trig Palin (didn't say from whom)

2) And, yes, I talked to Sarah at 4:00 AM on Thursday, April 17th. (didn't say who called whom)

This interview should be in the archives of the paper.

Shaun Mullen said...


What I wrote was: "Baldwin-Johnson has never publicly said a word about the birth."

The ADN interview was peculiar in and of itself because the reason for it occurring in the first place has never been satisfactorily explained, as well as why a baby doctor would feel the need to be accompanied by her attorney. Dr. Baldwin-Johnson's terse answers do not constitute proof that the events on 4/18/08 were as Ms. Palin and her associates described them, and therefore do not debunk the possibility that there may have been a birth hoax conspiracy.

Nameless Cynic said...

Sorry, folks, but Palin did graduate from college. Took her a little longer than most, but she got a Bachelors in Communications (with an emphasis in journalism) in 1987.

Anonymous said...

Unless I see a picture of the degree I won't believe it. Did US News get confirmation from the University?

Palin shared a photo that she claimed was taken at her college graduation. It showed a woman in a cap and gown, wearing sunglasses, who somewhat favored Sarah. I've seen pictures of Sarah in college. She was extremely pretty--you couldn't miss her. Even with the sunglasses, I could see that the woman did not have that Sarah look. Others have said it was her sister. I could see that.

Moreover, and more telling, the tassel color was not appropriate for the degree Sarah claims to have earned.

I also read that a reporter called the University asking for confirmation of a degree awarded to "Sarah Heath," but was told no such person had received a degree from the University. Subsequently, this or another reporter called again, but asked about a degree for "Sarah Palin." The answer was "no comment." Why not answer proudly in the affirmative? It's not a state secret!

Ferry Fey said...

Shaun, Sarah Palin's parents have the last name of Heath, not Health. Please correct.

In 2010, Idaho Vandal posted an extensive analysis about Sarah Palin's college claims and chronology at Palingates. With the two changes of majors, the courses at community colleges that might not transfer toward a bachelor's degree, it seems far more likely that Palin could not have graduated, because she simply could not have accumulated sufficient college credits. No one has stepped forward to verify Sarah's claims, or explain the contradictions.

Sarah Palin's nomination for vice-president was due to the failure of both the national press and the political establishment to exercise due diligence. If she did not indeed give birth to Trig -- and I have seen
zero evidence that proves she did, and plenty of contradictions that are evidence that she didn't -- she pulled an audacious fraud over on the American people that needs to be fully revealed.

That this has any resemblance to the Obama birther questions is a totally false equivalence.

Shaun Mullen said...

Ferry Fey:

Typos fixed. Thank you.

And thank you for the Idaho Vandal link. It makes a circumstantial case that Ms. Palin did not graduate from college, but perhaps more importantly is yet another instance -- the dense fog surrounding the birth/births being only the most prominent -- of her intentionally obfuscating aspects of her life, sometimes for no good reason.

One of the more prominent Palin "scholars" (I suppose I kind of qualify) got in touch with me after publication of this post. He concurred that Ms. Palin has a proclivity for bending reality, to put the most positive spin on it, but does not believe there was a birth hoax.

Okay, I replied, but why did he believe Ms. Palin has gone to such extraordinary lengths to sustain the birth hoax conspiracy by her silence and not knock down hoax believers and educated skeptics such as myself at the very least through a surrogate or other third party? Why did she not do that in 2008, let alone since then?

He has not answered me.

WhyMe? said...

Nobody here mentioned that Sarah Palin claimed to have a tubal ligation after the birth of her last daughter, Piper. She was in a carpool with other women at that time, and claimed that she could not do her scheduled driving because of her 'tubal'. She got out of it again during her next scheduled turn, claiming the after effects of her 'surgery'.
Also, in early March of 2008, she went to a spa and had a massage from Shailey Tripp, the woman that Sarah's husband Todd forced into prostitution. Sarah signed a paper at the spa stating that she was NOT pregnant at that time. Shailey Tripp also stated in her notes after the massage, that Sarah complained about abdominal soreness from a Lipo-dissolve procedure. How would a pregnant woman undergo such a procedure?
Another thing: Levi Johnston stated in his book, that Sarah was pressuring him and Bristol to give up their son so she (Sarah) could adopt him, since she was better able to care for a child than two young, unemployed, unwed teenagers: IF Sarah had just given birth to a DS baby, WHY would she try to coax the teens to let her adopt another baby - wouldn't she have both her hands full with taking care of the DS baby?

Shaun Mullen said...


Like pretty much everything else surrounding the birth/births, the tubal ligation "angle" has not been verified while taking on a life of its own.

The most detailed account comes from "Lidia," whose take on the matter is in the comments below this post:

Anonymous said...

All "Lidia did was repost quotes left by an anonymous commenter on at least one Immoral Minority post from several days before.

That's why "Lydia" started her comment with: "I don’t have the thread links, but I had copied the text of the comments:"

Anonymous said...

I am not a huge Palin fan but I am pro-life. I think it ultimately doesn't matter who the real mom is--it matters only that this baby was welcomed into a family and is being raised with love and care.

It used to be fairly normal for young girls to be "sent away" to give birth to inconvenient babies, and it was also common for grandparents or other relatives to raise them as siblings or cousins to the mom. That is a family matter and up to the Palins. If they want to keep it quiet, that's okay, we should all move on.

It could very well be Bristol's child, but I think we should all do the polite thing and go along with the story.

I do think it is interesting that they named the boy Trig. Down Syndrome is a chromosomal anomaly called Trisomy G, the shorthand for which is Tri G. It's sort of an awkward choice.

Dangersou said...

I've been out of this for a while but occasionally when I want a break I do a web search for any continued discussion or developments.

But back in 2008 / 2009, I was one of the leaders of the effort to get to the bottom of it via evidence collection and unbiased analysis, and to try to get mainstream media to at least help in getting some questions answered. Unfortunately, that first effort was thwarted by a flood of poorly-reasoned hypotheses and dubious assumptions, and the second was thwarted by the aforementioned Emperor's New Clothes syndrome that gripped credentialed journalists from Alaska on south. The Salon "debunking" falls firmly in that category.

The reason people like me CONCLUDE there was a hoax is that the direct and circumstantial evidence generated contemporaneously with the events and prior to any investigation points conclusively in that direction. Palin's announcement of a self-described pregnancy already in its 7th month in early March of 2008 surprised everyone around her, no matter what they may say later. She did not look pregnant and continued not to look pregnant in many, many pictures during the month of March 2008. Then, suddenly, in mid-April she looks ready to burst and a few days later purportedly gives birth to a pre-mature child with Downs Syndrome.

Dangerous said...

This evidence is far more consistent with a faked pregnancy than an actual one, including:
1) Palin not having informed any people or the public of a pregnancy;
2) Palin having no notes in her schedule for pre-natal appointments;
3) Palin purportedly using a family-friend physician who is not an OB-Gyn for a multiple high-risk pregnancy;
4) Visual evidence inconsistent with an actual, normal pregnancy.

If this were all, their might be some reasonable doubt in the absence of direct evidence one way or the other. One might be justified in calling people who reached a conclusion based solely on the above observations, and related ones, conspiracy theorists and "truthers".

But then you have to add Palin's own version of delivery and birth which, to put it mildly, is total crap. The fundamental problem with her labor in Texas / birth in Alaska story, apart from the obvious, is urgency. No person, sane or not, goes into labor and rushes to the farthest hospital. However, the confirmable parts of her story are COMPLETELY consistent with a faked pregnancy and IMPOSSIBLE for a real one. In fact, no sane person could reach any other conclusion and has to engage in so much willful blindness that I can't take them seriously, so I don't care what names they call me.

Dangerous said...

So, when Sarah Palin supposedly went into labor in Texas -- as she has stated multiple times -- was it urgent or not? First, it wasn't urgent because she didn't go to the hospital and her "doctor" didn't direct her to do so (if she ever had a conversation with Dr. CBJ). Palin stayed and gave her speech.

Next, it WAS urgent because they changed their flights to get back to Alaska as soon as possible.

Next, it WASN'T urgent because they had no problem taking two 4+ hour flights, including a casual layover in Seattle, and she made no mention of it to Delta Airlines flight attendants that she might be in labor.

So finally they arrive and Alaska and WOW -- it's so urgent they go straight from Anchorage airport not to a hospital there, but take another hour-plus drive directly to remote Mat-Su hospital without a neo-natal care unit.

There's just no way this labor and delivery story is even remotely true. It fits perfectly to conclude a faked pregnancy, however, with the exception of Palin being caught out of town. So it wasn't an IDEAL way to end a faked pregnancy, but it has all the earmarks (no pun intended for insiders) of a hastily concocted plan and cover-story. Hence, it's full of holes and inconsistencies you might expect from such a set circumstances.

Dangerous said...

The only outstanding question then is who DID give birth to baby Trig under circumstances that would lead Sarah Palin to fake a pregnancy. The natural conclusion would be for a mother to fake to protect the reputation of a daughter (that's how it happens nearly every time it does), so attention turned to Bristol. In the first hours this realization hit us, I -- along with everyone else -- assumed that he faked to save Bristol's reputation and some of her own as a public figure. Count me among the people who conclude it's ridiculous that her motive was to make herself more attractive as a VP candidate to John McCain. Such a ploy would be too speculative as to induce her faking a pregnancy.

But then when she announced -- when the media buzz was becoming to loud to contain -- that Bristol was pregnant and could not have given birth to Trig based on the schedule she announced, she caught a huge break. We all made the false assumption that Bristol was Trig's real mother, and that was enough to discredit our entire effort to mainstream media types. If not Bristol, the motive to fake vaporized and with it all the supposed evidence that backed up that conclusion.

Still, our troop labored on, collecting more and more evidence (direct and circumstantial) that Palin faked it, and tried in vain to collect enough evidence to open a large enough window of time for Bristol to give birth to two babies at least 10 months apart.

The reason this story lingers without a resolution is because there hasn't been a resolution. There's still no conclusive evidence Palin was ever pregnant (no medical records or proof of prenatal care), and no conclusive evidence of who gave birth to Trig. Someone did and if wasn't Sarah Palin it has to be someone who would give her a motive to fake and still be willing to keep the baby in the family.

Based on all of the evidence available, I've maintained that the most likely mother of Trig is Willow, as icky as that may seem in retrospect that a 13/14 year-old was pregnant. It's not impossible, as photographic evidence of Willow at the time clearly demonstrates. She was physically capable of bearing a child.

Like Bristol, records indicate Willow was out of school from late February through after Trig was purportedly born. Faking for Willow is a far more convincing motive than it would be for Bristol, and assuming Bristol gave birth to Tripp, she couldn't have given birth to Trig any time from mid-March on. Further, no other scenario makes sense for Sarah to fake a pregnancy -- which seems better than 99% certain based on the evidence -- and for the baby to stay in the family. Many have attempted to build one (typically involving affairs and such) but all fail logical analysis.

To anyone who still doubts, I challenge them to show one piece of conclusive proof that Palin WAS pregnant and DID delivery Trig as she has described. If that story were true, there would be a paper trail a mile long of medical and insurance records, and dozens of eye-witnesses to the process. She was the freakin' Governor of Alaska. She couldn't be pregnant for real in secret. Women always know.

You can satisfy this challenge with hearsay or even first-person testimony that lacks independent corroboration that should be easy to collect. Still ... nothing.

If you want to make me and the rest of us who know the truth eat our words, just present the evidence as I have above.

Toma Rani said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Late to your comments but check out the Palin Charlie Rose interview on 8/29/08 where she clearly references her "one and only son". What mother forgets how many sons she has, especially 4 months after birthing the last?

Anonymous said...

All this rhetoric aside...Trig looks exactly like Levi Johnston.

She couldn't be running on a family values/abstinence platform is her daughter was expecting second out of wedlock child now could she?

Public might forgive one but a second? Those boys are brothers, each a mini me of one of their parents!

Anonymous said...

The story of her giving that speech and getting on the plane after her water broke are very, very, suspicious. The circumstance of Bristol's "visiting an aunt" is extremely suspicious as well. Here's the problem that I (and probably a lot of other people) have with the conspiracy theory however: By now somebody would have talked. What about Levi? No love lost there. Why wouldn't he have outed the plot by now? If Bristol gave birth, where? Who attended her? I just don't think a secret this juicy remains secret for this long.

Anonymous said...

The Baby was not born in April. It was born a couple months before the claimed birth date of Trig. That's why the grandparents are holding another baby in the photo. That then allows plenty of time for Palin's daughters 2nd pregnancy. That is why Palin won't show the birth certificate. It is her daughters baby and it was born well before the claimed April birth date.